Firefighter Training at SPC

Firefighter Training at SPC


Good evening. My name is Mark Prohaska.
I’m a fire instructor with the St. Petersburg College Fire Academy.
Tonight we’re in Class 51’s final burns. This is also known as Family Night. The
family and friends are able to come witness them fight a pit fire. At present,
the fire crews are in two teams, both led with a state-certified,
live-fire training instructor. There are 28 cadets. They’ll do this evolution a
total of 28 times, giving each one experience on the nozzle. They’re using
their hose streams in conjunction with each other to cool the pans, and as they
approach you’ll notice that their hose streams go from a narrow stream to a
slightly wider fog and then eventually it’ll be a very wide fog. At this point
teamwork is crucial for them. If one team were to get ahead of the other, the fire
would start to wrap around and would become very uncomfortable for all the
people involved. Once they approach the pit and they push the fire back, the two
teams are going to separate and go in opposite directions, pushing the fire
away. You’ll note the fire swirls around the streams pretty heavily. These 28 recruits have only three more
weeks of school left, and then they’ll take their college practical as well as
their state exam to become state-certified firefighters. As you can see the fire streams have now
separated, and they’re pushing the fire off, effectively controlling the burning
material coming out of the pans. And, once they have the fire out, they’ll
make a safe backup technique so that way nobody would get burned in the event
that it re-ignited. They’ve spent the last nine weeks
learning how to properly don their personal protective equipment – their air
packs – and then hose management as well as teamwork so that they can be better
prepared for these days. And the next two weeks we’ll lead them to fighting
interior fires in our burn building. What’s on fire? This is liquid propane
gas. We have two large liquid propane gas tanks on the side that go to a control
booth that’s being controlled by two live-fire training instructors. One holds the “dead man’s switch,” and the other one actually controls the gas. If
either instructor sees anything unsafe or has a concern, they go ahead and just
shut it off. And any instructor at any time can shut this prop off. There’s also
a safety instructor on the other side and also another live-fire training
instructor on a safety backup line in the event something occurred. (Clapping from family and friends) Thanks for joining us on Facebook Live,
and hopefully we look forward to seeing you on our next Facebook Live at the
St. Petersburg Fire College.

Author: Kevin Mason

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